Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Ottawa area candidates pledge support for proportional representation

Fair Vote Canada --- June 10, 2014

The National Capital Region Chapter of Fair Vote Canada today announced the names of local candidates who have signed Fair Vote Canada’s Politicians’ Pledge. The pledge affirms the candidate’s support for proportional representation (PR) and commits the candidate to work toward electoral reform if elected. All registered candidates for the June 12 Ontario provincial election from the Ottawa area’s seven ridings were invited to sign the pledge.

The candidates who have signed the pledge are:

Bob Bell, Green Party

Dave Bagler, Green Party
Hervé Ngambé, New Democratic Party

Kevin O'Donnell, Green Party
Larry Wasslen, Communist Party

Bronwyn Funiciello, New Democratic Party
Espoir Manirambona, Communist Party
Matt Lakatos-Hayward, Green Party

Ottawa West-Nepean
Alex Cullen, New Democratic Party
Alex Hill, Green Party

Gordon Kubanek, Green Party
Ric Dagenais, New Democratic Party

“We are pleased by the number of New Democratic Party and Green Party candidates who responded positively to our request to sign the pledge at this busy time,” said Julien Lamarche, President of the local chapter of Fair Vote Canada. “These candidates were well informed about the potential benefits of proportional representation for Ontarians, and were aware of their parties’ support for proportional representation.”

“However, we are disappointed that no candidates from the Ontario Liberal or Progressive Conservative parties chose to sign the pledge, although some do support proportional representation,” Mr. Lamarche continued. “Electoral reform should not be seen as a partisan issue. Fair Vote Canada’s National Advisory Board includes prominent members of all the major political parties. These are thoughtful people who recognize that a more proportional electoral system can help make Canadian politics less partisan, more representative, and more effective.”

“We noted that some Liberal candidates are saying that proportional representation is not an issue in Ontario because it was decided in the 2007 referendum,” said Réal Lavergne, member of Fair Vote Canada’s National Council and action coordinator for the Ontario election in the Ottawa region. “It is ironic that these candidates can consider the ‘Yes’ vote of 36.9% as a conclusive defeat for proportional representation, when their Liberal Party ‘won’ the 2011 provincial election, just one seat short of a majority, with only 37.7% of the vote.”

The Ontario referendum was seriously flawed in many ways. In particular, far too little time and effort were invested in public education. By the time of the vote, almost half of Ontarians polled knew nothing at all about the referendum, which had a significant impact on the result.

“Many people in Ontario prefer to think of the referendum as a first step toward adopting proportional representation, not the last word on the subject,” said Mr. Lavergne. “We should take the lessons learned and move forward to design a fair electoral system for Ontarians—one that makes every vote count.”

A Forum Research poll (October 2012) and an Environics survey (March 2013) both showed that 70% of Canadians are in favour of a more proportional electoral system. Fair Vote Canada is a multi-partisan citizens’ campaign for voting system reform.

More Information:
FVC Politicians Pledge:

“Why Ontarians said no to MMP” (Fred Cutler and Patrick Fournier in the Globe and Mail)

Media Contact:
Julien Lamarche

Fair Vote Canada / Représentation équitable au Canada
283 Danforth Avenue #408
Toronto, ON M4K 1N2